Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, a conservative Albany-area think tank, said teacher pension costs as now structured “are unsustainable in the long term, in addition to being paid for on the taxpayers’ dime.”
E.J. McMahon, research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative research group in Albany, said earlier this week eliminating the state and local income tax deduction would hurt New York.
"From the state budget standpoint, still, if they repeal the income tax deduction, that is a huge threat to New York more than any other state to our tax base, and that's because the state has become dangerously over-reliant on taxes paid by the highest-earning 1 percent," McMahon said.
“There should be a way to make this happen without giving away the store,” said E.J. McMahon, research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany think tank that advocates for smart-government and free-market policies.
New city payroll data the Empire Center for Public Policy compiled shows the city’s total pay to school workers increased to $10.73 billion for the 2016-17 school year. That’s up from $10.18 billion the year before.
"Upstate is not creating jobs. And you're not going to hang out in Upstate New York waiting for a job to turn up," McMahon said.
Upstate is where the overall net loss for the state is coming from. McMahon, who's been crunching Census Bureau data said the impact is obvious.
As the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon notes, every one of the state’s 12 “metropolitan statistical areas” saw growth below the national average in 2016.
If New York doesn’t change its ways and get serious about lowering taxes and cutting back regulation, it will keep on losing ground.
Any savings in New York, particularly in the New York City suburbs with high taxes, would be negligible compared with what other states may see, said E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative group in Albany.
"This much is clear: A couple falling well within the middle class by downstate standards — people, in most cases, living paycheck-to-paycheck in modest suburban homes — will realize much smaller savings than their counterparts in lower-cost, lower-taxed states across the country," he wrote.
“We’ve said this since the beginning: Taxpayers have a right to know where their tax dollars go,” Hoefer said, noting that payrolls generally are the largest share of government costs.
Past records on the Empire Center’s database show that the Middletown public works commmissioner’s pay was $141,308 in 2010 and has leaped several times, rising 30 percent since 2014. Tawil’s contract grants him five weeks of vacation per year and lets him save and get paid for all unused vacation days, which contributed significantly to his $260,000 pay in the past year.